When it comes to how millennials live, the most common narrative is that they’re either gathering in big cities, or choosing to live at home with their parents in large numbers. The choice to live at home and often save money and pay off student debt has often been painted as a canny one in the media – but data shows that the reality is more complicated than that.
Comet, a company that helps manage student loan debt, surveyed 1,000 Millennials aged 22-37 about their living arrangements, their salaries, their debt, and how much they’d saved.
A third of Millennials are bunking with their parents nationwide, while 69% are living alone or with roommates, according to 2015 U.S. Census Bureau data. For the Millennials living at home, they’re paying a price in independence and satisfaction: They’re 5.5 times more likely to report being “not at all satisfied” with their living arrangements than those who live on their own.
Millennials living at home were also less likely to be employed full-time, at 54% compared to 75.7% employment for Millennials living on their own. Those living at home were more likely to be students, part-timers, or unemployed.
When it comes to earnings, there is a wide disparity between Millennials living at home versus independently. Over 1 in 3 Millennials living at home reported earning less than $15,000 a year. However, 45% of those living on their own reported making between $35,000-$74,999.
Those living at home, perhaps because they did not have the access to as many job opportunities, were not able to save as much as Millennials living on their own, even though they paid less rent.
- Millennials living on their own paid an average of $853.10 in monthly housing costs and had an average of $11,310 in savings
- Millennials living at home paid an average of $286.70 in housing costs each monthly housing costs and had an average of $7,464 in savings. They also had about $200 less than those living on their own left over once the bills were paid at the end of the month.
- 37% of those living at home are “not at all satisfied” with their finances, as compared with 21% of those living on their own.
Contrary to received wisdom, it may be smarter for Millennials to fly the nest sooner than later, if only for the greater wealth of opportunities that could expand their earning power and mitigate the cost of rent.